June 11, a young lady died in Phuntsholing Hospital after an unsuccessful abortion in Jaigaon. Until the doctors saw bleeding from the victim’s genitals, her friend had lied it was an epileptic attack. Telling the truth could lead to legal actions, but she left the world, free of pains.
Record shows that every year over 200 women suffer similar fate, which could be just the tip of an iceberg. There may be hundreds others who must be crying in the corners with pain, or worse must have died silent deaths.
Our compassionate Buddhist kingdom views abortion as a very sinful act, equivalent to killing a person. But with due respect, I seek to know where is compassion in letting a young woman die along with her baby? Where is compassion in letting an unwanted child see the light of the world, sentencing him to a home where he wasn’t wanted? Where is compassion in letting a young woman give birth to a child, whose father has given up on them?
I find more compassion in abortion; killing a cell for the sake of a woman’s life, and liberating both the mother and the child from depth of mistake. Abortion is not an ice cream that everybody would enjoy if made free, it is but the only option left when everything seems wrong. No woman will go for abortion for pleasure.
If there was a way out, the 23 year old woman wouldn’t have travelled over 400 km straight against her country’s law and pay Nu.9000 to let someone dig into her and take her guts out. In such times no amount of law can stop that. But just because it’s illegal at home, the desperate woman has gone out to Jaigaon, place where nothing seems right- who knows if the man who operated on her was a doctor or a vegetable vendor.
Abortion is not permitted in Bhutan because we are Buddhist, isn’t it more Buddhist to forgive a woman for her mistake and give her a new life instead of letting her die along with child, which we were trying to protect? How many women must die before we rethink our role as a Buddhist?